We are out selling delicious local honey at the Almaden Valley Farmers Market. Fellow farmer Hector, owner operator, of Hector’s Organic Farm in Salinas, CA grew this amazing 6 1/2 pound cauliflower. There are so many amazingly talented #organic farmers here l, but today Hector wins honorable mention for demonstrating that organic farming yields are plentiful for the consumer and gainful for the farmer.
Tag Archives: Local
Festive seasonal organic honey and jam. Spring honey tastes of fruit tree blossoms; summer honey tastes slightly spicy- very complex; fall honey tastes of fennel and anise almost like very mild licorice flavor. Jams are plum, persimmon, fig, Mandarin marmalade, several other flavors. Patrons are using words like delightful and delicious to describe their tasting experiences. Happy farmer.
I recently read the salt blog and discovered an article dated September 5, 2013 by Maria Godoy entitled, Was Your Chicken Nugget Made In China? It’ll Soon Be Hard To Know. I was amazed at what I was reading. Our very own USDA just lifted the prohibition on processed chicken made in China; furthermore, the USDA will permit processed meat products to be imported to the U.S. without the country of origin. Paraphrasing, the article goes on to say that chickens raised in the U.S. and Canada will be shipped to China, processed into pieces parts, probably battered and fried, and shipped back to the U.S. Does that chicken get frequent flier miles?
I’m sure China has promised the best food processing facilities it can provide; moreover, I’m also sure the presentation that the Chinese factory owners provided to the USDA was impressive. China’s track record on food safety is, diplomatically speaking; challenged. Does anybody remember these scandals? Eleanor West of the Food Republic blog in an article entitled, 5 Food Safety Problems in China elucidates many of my concerns in a very articulate manner. In reviewing the Centers for Disease Control website, the United States track record on food safety is nothing to be proud of; moreover, like China, it is pretty shameful too. The objective of this particular post is not to spread fear and worry without a solution, but instead to increase awareness and to provide strategies for keeping you and your family as close to optimal health as possible.
Here are my observations, experiences, and suggestions:
- Most of the foodborne illnesses reported on the CDC website are from salmonella, which can be managed with fastidious attention to detail around hand washing, temperature control, and facility cleanliness. If you insist on eating chicken, you had better be a food warrior meaning, going on the offense when sourcing your chicken and on the defense when cleanliness, temperature, and food preparation are concerned. Eating in restaurants and/or eating factory farmed poultry are risky propositions at best.
- I have suffered through salmonella poisoning twice in my lifetime and I would not wish it upon anybody, it is absolutely awful. The diarrhea, headache, uncontrollable teeth chattering are some of the most hellish combination of symptoms that I have endured; moreover, suffering through salmonella is enough to compel anybody to make life changes.
- My suggestions are listed in order from least effective to most effective:
- Source your poultry from higher end grocery stores because they are less likely to buy from large factory farms.
- Buy your produce and as much of your weekly food at your local Farmers Market
- Buy heritage breed poultry from small family farms wherein you develop a relationship with that family farm and your knowledge and comfort level of how the birds are raised and cared for makes the prospect of eating them less risky.
- Adopt fastidious cleanliness and rigorous temperature standards for meat storage and preparation.
- Stop eating meat at home and when in restaurants.
- Stop eating meat and dairy at home and when in restaurants. A plant based vegan diet is easier to do than you think, healthier for you and your family, and quite delicious.
- Buy your produce from a local urban farm that grows fruits and vegetables in your neighborhood; for example, Yummy Tummy Farms.
The second core value of Yummy Tummy Farms is self sustainability and eating closer to where you live can address many food safety related concerns, not to mention environmental concerns. Foodborne illness and processed foods are linked in many ways; moreover, just by understanding that the more times food is handled the greater the risk for foodborne contamination means you understand more than the average consumer. I hope that I have achieved my goals of increasing your awareness and providing useful applicable tips to achieving optimal health. I will conclude with a question in an attempt to encourage some dialogue.
As you have become more aware of food, have you made any changes to your diet or the way you acquire your food? Please comment.
I, Farmer Donald, am blessed to have the experiences associated with farming the land around my suburban home. I had motivation from many sources, but key sources of inspirations were family lineage, supporting the honey bees, feeding myself and my family healthy food right from the garden. In my personal quest to understand more about where my food comes from, how it was raised, how it interacts with my body, both in the short term and the long term, I have found maintaining clarity is very difficult. Food is personal.
My health is all that I have for without health; everything else in life becomes more and more challenging. I feel that it is imperative to arm myself with the latest information, protect myself and my family from industrial food companies, and defend my community from lies and deceit. It is difficult not to feel embattled from the many foodborne illness headlines, GMO produce, GMO meat, packaging contamination such as BPA in plastics, vitamins and supplements that work one day and the next week they are linked to a malady, and on and on it goes. Speaking as a farmer, I feel a certain energy and zeal when speaking about food, nutrition, and health; therefore, I am going to evolve this blog into discussions around health, diet, food, nutrition, recipes, and how-to guidelines. There are a lot of people doing similar things; however, I hope that I will inspire you, dear readers, to follow this blog, recommend this blog, like my posts, leave a supportive comment, and even visit the farm some day. In becoming a Food Warrior, I hope to enlighten and bring a bit perspective to the wide and diverse subjects around food; moreover, I hope to interact and learn from other bloggers and learn from the fine community of readers too. Lastly, while being a Food Warrior will be an evolving term, it is my goal to fight for enlightenment, peace, and a long healthful life for me, my family, and my community.
The Silicon Valley Tour de Coop 2013— a self-guided bicycle tour of chicken coops and urban farms between Menlo Park and San Jose.
The second annual Silicon Valley Tour de Coop, bike ride and coop tour is taking place 9am – 4pm Saturday, September 14, 2031. This free, self-guided bicycle tour of chicken coops and backyard urban homesteads, including honey bees, worm composting, and organic gardening, and, of course, chickens. Experienced urban farmers will show off their coop handiwork while sharing their joy of raising chickens and the benefits of creating backyard ecosystems that support the residents and neighborhoods, as well as the planet.
Your very own local suburban farm, Yummy Tummy Farms will be a featured urban farm stop where Farmer Donald, friends, and neighbors will be greeting cyclists, offering delicious farm samples, and leading regular farm tours. Full details are available at: http://tourdecoop.org/yummy-tummy-farms/
In addition to providing a fun, family friendly, community building event, the organizers also hope to energize those “on the fence” to jump into the urban homesteading movement. As Michael Pollan says in his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, “What we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world– and what is to become of it.” In a time when lists of ingredients are virtually unintelligible, raising chickens or honeybees, and gardening organically provides wholesome, fresh, nourishing food, as well as being a balm for the earth.
This year’s tour features a variety of coop tour routes, with individual city loops (5-10 miles) and a larger 50 to 100 mile loop including stops from San Jose to Menlo Park and every city in between. Participants, or “tourists” register for a limited number of reservations on Eventbrite and a few days prior to the tour receive a printable map showing the tour route. Full details are available at the Coop Tour website, http://tourdecoop.org.
So grab your bike, your friends, and family and join us on the Silicon Valley Tour de Coop! Find out for yourself how to reconnect to the great outdoors of your own backyard. Enjoy meeting your neighbors and making new friends while cruising between urban farms on bikes!
What’s Ripe at Yummy Tummy Farms for 8/24 and 8/25? Great question and here is a comprehensive list to wet your appetite:
Heirloom Tomatoes: Gardener’s Delight cherry, Black Cherry, Heirloom Beefsteak, Japanese Black Trifele medium-large, Ghost Cherry, White Tomesol beefsteak, Punta Banda small, Riesenstraube cherry, Indigo Rose- black small tomato absolutely stunning in its beauty, Yellow cherry, SF Fog small medium, Mr. Stripey large, Great White beefsteak, Striped German beefsteak, Green Doctors super sweet cherry, Green Tomatillos- bring on the salsa, Sungold cherry.
Pepper: Numex Anaheim- chile rellenos anybody? Red and green and chocolate bells
Eggplant: Heirloom Aswad Eggplant from Iraq- big and super meaty!
Basil: Plenty of Italian Genovese- bring on the pesto! Lots of Royal Siam Thai Basil, Pho anyone?
Cucumbers: Marketmore- slicing and fresh eating and Pickling
Kale: Lacinto Dinosaur kale
Squash: Burgess Buttercup
Melon: French exotic Ananas Vert and delightful sweet melon scent
All of our produce is biodynamically grown in alignment with organic growing standards. Yummy Tummy Farms will be open from 12 noon to 4:00 pm Saturday and Sunday 8/24 & 8/25. We hope to see you here.